Adult learning has taken on a much higher profile in the last decade, as OECD economies and ageing societies are increasingly knowledge-based. High unemployment rates among the unskilled, the recognised importance of human capital for economic growth and social development - together with public interest in improving social and personal development - make it necessary to increase learning opportunities for adults within the wider context of lifelong learning. Although there are a range of learning opportunities across countries, related to employment, to the need for basic skills or upskilling, or perhaps in response to social and civic preoccupations, there are also strong inequities in terms of access and provision.
It is time to go beyond rhetoric and consider concrete policy answers to expand learning opportunities for all adults. This report documents the experiences of nine countries in this field. These countries are Canada, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom (England).
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Reforms Needed to Broaden the Reach of Adult Learning